Vernon politicians find themselves caught in the middle of a growing social issue.

Recent court rulings have dictated that the homeless cannot be removed from public parks if there aren’t shelter beds available so Vernon, like many other B.C. communities, has relaxed regulations. On Monday, council voted to allow temporary shelter in designated public spaces from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. when shelter beds are not available.

This is a tough one because the city must abide by the courts but many residents, naturally, are concerned, about what’s happening in the parks. Coun. Catherine Lord can say she hasn’t seen a reduction in public use in Polson Park, but perception can become reality if some residents are convinced there is a safety issue.